I’ve just got back from my first ever trip to the Edinburgh Festival, and it was brilliant! So impressed, Edinburgh was more gorgeous than I remembered and everything from the organisation, to the quality and diversity of the festival was impressive. I’m so jealous of people who get to go along as part of it, it must be knackering but ace.
I’m back in London now, so these are my backdated ‘reviews’ - I have zero theatrical talent or experience, but this is what I thought of day one anyway…
Featuring AKA ‘the one who dies in Four Weddings’ – probably the most annoying way I can describe him, this was a bit of old school theatre in lots of senses. Featuring a proper thespian-type doing Dickens monologues, in a theatre Dickens is likely to have performed them in himself (The Music Hall @ The Assembly). I’ve never finished a Dickens before – think I may be more from the Dom & Wadds school of culture – but I really enjoyed this. Two tales of two lives which seemed old-fashioned and kind of ‘now’ all at the same time, they were genuinely poignant and the second one even made me cry – aww. I agree with the Guardian that it seemed a little out of pace with lots else at the Fringe, but it made a great opener for me, and undoubtedly class act.
Philip Escoffey: Six Impossible Things Before Dinner ♥♥♥♥
Philip Escoffey‘s is a bit of a Derren Brown type show, but having never seen that live, it was very impressive. Amazing pieces of theatre, that still had us talking a few days later, the audience in the palm of his hand and apparently both Jeremy Clarkson and Gordon Ramsay saying “Fuck me!” – ok not that difficult. But in the city which Harry Potter was born in, Escoffey made it easy to believe in magic.
Tim Minchin – Are you ready for this? ♥♥♥♥
This was a great piece of quick-witted musical stand-up to round up the first day, complete with grand pianos, faux-R&B love songs, dead-baby jokes (from his wife, about his baby), skinny jeans, eye-liner and big hair. The highlights were the ‘only a ginger, can call another ginger, ginger’ song which as a wannabe-ginge I loved. As well as Tim’s song for Phil Daoust – a Guardian critic who nearly critiqued him out of the stand-up game in 2005, it was very funny and has probably scared everyone into giving Tim good reviews forever, as he promised to help Phil eat his own face.
Video from Tim’s old material below…
A cool first day, two and three to follow…
Celeb spot: Dave Gorman watching Tim Minchin